He told Sport / Foot Magazine: "Every year there was talk of my arrival in Madrid. I have never had contact, not even my surroundings, with the club. The contacts began two, three years ago, when I got injured with the national team.
"After the 2018 World Cup I wanted to come. Chelsea said no. It was necessary to spend a year with (Maurizio) Sarri.
"Nor did he want to leave Chelsea badly. I have always been clean with all my clubs. As I did in Lille. My last year at Lille (2011-2012) I didn't want to do it. My surroundings made me understand that it was necessary to stay a season. The same thing happened at Chelsea.
"In the summer of 2018 I received a call from Marina Granovskaia. She told me: 'Don't go, Sarri comes to train you.' I tried to do my best."